Sunderland councillors say Universal Credit changes will 'push many struggling families further into poverty'
Council chiefs in Sunderland are to write to Government ministers over the removal of the £20 uplift for those on Universal Credit.
It came after a motion was put forward at the latest city council meeting by Labour councillors.
The motion, which was ultimately agreed upon by councillors, labelled the decision to remove the uplift for those on Universal Credit “deplorable”, adding it will “push many struggling families further into poverty”.
The motion will see the council pledge to support those at risk of financial difficulties by offering solutions through local employment schemes.
It also calls on them to enhance the current Welfare Rights Service for those most vulnerable and to support local job clubs.
Finally a letter will be written to the Chancellor and Prime Minister demanding the Government re-introduce the payment as a matter of urgency.
Labour’s Cllr Karen Noble, who proposed the motion, said: “Universal Credit is there to help and support people on low income, the unemployed.
“I want us to help support our residents to get jobs and to get better jobs, if they can. If they can’t, then I don’t want this uplift to go.
Several Labour councillors spoke in favour of the motion, along with Liberal Democrat representatives, although Conservative group leader Cllr Antony Mullen said: “For the second meeting in a row Labour has proposed writing a letter, I think they have run out of ideas for our city.
“I do want to keep the uplift, but this motion I think was intended for Labour to put on a united front.
“It wasn’t intended for the Conservative group to support it and so we will be abstaining.”